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The Iranian regime’s dead-end in the European Special Purpose Vehicle

The Iranian regime and European Union are failing to establish channels to circumvent U.S. sanctions
The Iranian regime and European Union are failing to establish channels to circumvent U.S. sanctions

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


Jan. 9, 2019 - Last week, Bahram Qassemi, spokesperson for the Iranian regime’s foreign ministry, complained again that the European Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has yet not become operational and said: “For their own independence and the continuation of their own independent existence, the European countries need to make the necessary decision and if there is a price that they have to pay to become independent from the U.S. economy then they have to pay [this price]. There is no doubt that without costs, they won’t be able to do anything of importance and we consider Europe the responsible party for the financial mechanism not becoming operational. Finally, they will be to blame, and they should think about its consequences. Iran’s patience is not unlimited.”

While Rouhani’s faction is begging for the SPV to become operational, the faction close to Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei considers the SPV something that will destroy Iran’s economic independence.

Mehdi Mohammadi, an analyst close to the regime’s intelligence circles and Khamenei’s faction, said to the Iranian state-run television: “Do you know what the SPV means, at least according to the documents that the Europeans have published? It means that gradually, all money will be cleared from Iran’s economy. All currencies will be cleared [from Iran’s economy]. Gradually, you won’t have any money anymore. Your money will be in blocked accounts and the money will be used for trade and transactions that the other party allows. One of the strategic goals of the U.S. for this new round of sanctions… is that we can’t access our own money and can’t use our financial resources freely where we want.

The underlying issue between the two ruling factions in Iran isn’t the SPV, but whether to keep the JCPOA or leaving it. Rouhani’s faction argues that they should keep this shell of the JCPOA and the European mechanism, which has become a symbol for the European JCPOA, at any cost, because leaving the JCPOA will be catastrophic. But the opposing faction considers the JCPOA itself catastrophic.

An analyst from Rouhani’s faction says: “Leaving the JCPOA entirely will never serve Iran’s interests, especially now when the regional and international situation is not very good. It will result in an international consensus against Iran. In this regard, it may be that in addition to the EU, U.S., and some Arabic countries in the Persian Gulf, even China and Russia join Iran’s adversaries.”

To escape the current deadlock, the analyst suggests a halfway solution that sounds rather like a riddle.

“To make the European SPV operational and escape this situation, we need to select a halfway measure. It means not to leave the JCPOA completely and not to continue the current political immobility. Because the current situation isn’t in Iran’s favor at all.”

From his statements, one can’t fathom how he intends to end the political immobility.

There are two important points in the statements of Rouhani’s faction:

  1. “[The Europeans] should think about [the] consequences [of the SPV not becoming operational]. Iran’s patience is not unlimited,” according to Iran’s foreign ministry’s spokesperson.

This is a hollow threat. Even if the EU doesn’t set up the SPV, the consequences for that will be Iran leaving the JCPOA. In this case, the gravest and most imminent consequences will be for the Iranian regime itself, so it will think thrice before acting.

Looking at how the Iranian regime has acted over the past four decades in crucial moments of its history makes this a very far-fetched possibility. The Iranian mullahs love for power is beyond reason and they’re willing to bend any rule or principle of their own in order to prolong the life of their rotten regime. This general rule is even more correct when it come to the so-called moderates.


  1. The dead-end that one pundit from Rouhani’s faction described as the “current political immobility” is not “in Iran’s favor at all.”

This means that until now, the Iranian regime hasn’t been able to receive substantial support from Europe, China, and Russia, despite its commitment to the JCPOA, while leaving it will have more dire consequences for the ruling mullahs.

Maybe the EU, Russia, and China also understand the dead-end the Iranian regime finds itself in and their interest in Iranian petrodollars can’t rationally overcome the interest they have in the billions of dollars’ worth of trade they make every year with the U.S. economy.



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